"THE LAW OF REDEMPTION."
I. GOD CLAIMED OWNERSHIP OF THE LAND. VERSE 23: THE LAND SHALL NOT BE SOLD FOR EVER: FOR THE LAND [IS] MINE.
A. The people were sort of like sharecroppers. The land really belongs to God, but He allows me to farm it. All they have to do is to give Him a tenth of the increase for the use of His land.
1. PSA 24:1
: The earth [is] the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
B. There were times however when the people came on bad times, and it was necessary to sell the land in order to pay their debts.
C. God wanted the land to remain in the families to which it would be allotted, so He made provisions for those times when it was necessary to sell the land, that it would always revert back to the family.
D. Every fifty years was known as the year of Jubilee when all debts were canceled and all property that was sold reverted back to the original family.
E. In the meantime they had the law of redemption whereby the land could be bought back. Let's look at a suppositional case.
1. Here is a man who has fallen on bad times and has sold his land for $25,000 dollars.
2. A few years have gone by and one of his brothers or an uncle decides to redeem the land so that it will be back in the family once again. He brings the sealed scroll that was drawn up at the time that the property was sold, and he presents it to the judges with the proof of his relationship and he has the right to purchase the property.
3. The price is determined by how many years until the year of Jubilee, at which time it would automatically revert back to the family. So they determine the value of the crops that could be grown during those years and the price was then set.
a. Let's say that it is ten years until the year of Jubilee.
b. The value of the crops that could be grown averaged one thousand a year, the price of redemption at this point would be $10,000.
4. The family member who redeemed the property, was known as the goel which means kinsman redeemer.
F. We have a couple of examples in the Old Testament of a family redeeming property of a near of kin.
G. The story of Ruth. Her mother-in-law, Naomi, and father-in-law, Elimelech, had sold their land and moved to Moab. Ruth had married one of their sons and in time her husband died as well as Elimelech, the husband of Naomi. Naomi decided to move back to Bethlehem and Ruth came with her. We just looked at the welfare laws in Israel last week, where an owner was not allowed to reap the corners of his fields or pick up any grain that had fallen to the ground, but it was to be left for the poor.
H. Because Ruth and Naomi were poor, Ruth went out into the fields to glean for it was the time of harvest.
I. She happened to go to a field that was owned by a man named Boaz who incidentally was a brother of Elimelech.
1. Boaz was attracted to Ruth who was much younger than he and sought to show her favor.
2. Ruth asked Boaz to fulfill the right of a kinsman redeemer, that is to redeem the field that Naomi had sold, and raise up a child so that his brothers name would not die in Israel, for all of the children of Elimelech had died.
3. Boaz said there was on hitch, he had a brother who was closer of kin than he was, and he had the first rights of redemption.
4. And so we read, Ruth 4:1
: Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spoke came by; unto whom he said, Ho, brother turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, who has come again out of the country of Moab, sold a parcel of land, which [was] our brother's Elimelech's: And I thought to inform you here in the presence of the elders to redeem [it] if so desire, but if you do not redeem [it, then] tell me, that I may know: for [there is] none to redeem [it] beside you; and I [am] after you. And he said, I will redeem [it]. Then said Boaz, the day you buy the field of the hand of Naomi, you must also buy Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. And the kinsman said,I cannot redeem [it] for myself, lest I
mar mine own inheritance: you redeem my right for yourself; for I cannot redeem [it]. Now this [was the manner] in former time in Israel concerning redeeming, to confirm all things; a man took off his shoe, and gave [it] to his neighbour: and this [was] a testimony in Israel. Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy [it] for yourself. So he took off his shoe. And Boaz said unto the elders, and [unto] all the people you [are] witnesses this day, that I have bought all that [was] Elimelech's, and all that [was] Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye [are] witnesses this day.
5. This custom that is referred to here is found in Deut.
If brothers dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry outside the family to a stranger: but her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her as his wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
And it shall be, [that] the firstborn which she bears shall succeed in the name of his brother [which is] dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
And if the man does not want to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuses to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.
Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and [if] he sticks to it, and says, I do not want to take her;
Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.
And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.
6. Ultimately Boaz redeemed the field of his brother Elimelech and married Ruth who became the great grand mother of King David.
J. Another example of the law of redemption was found in the book of Jeremiah;
And Jeremiah said, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum your uncle shall come unto you, saying, Buy my field that [is] in Anathoth: for the right of redemption [is] yours to buy [it].
So Hanameel mine uncle's son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that [is] in Anathoth, which [is] in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance [is] yours, and the redemption [is] yours; buy [it] for yourself. Then I knew that this [was] the word of the LORD.
And I bought the field that [was] in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, [even] seventeen shekels of silver.
And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed [it], and took witnesses, and weighed [him] the money in the balances.
So I took the evidence of the purchase, [both] that which was sealed [according] to the law and custom, and that which was open:
And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle's [son], and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison.
1. We note here that the evidence of the transaction was a sealed scroll and an open scroll.
II. WHAT DO THESE OLD CUSTOMS HAVE TO DO WITH US?
A. They had similar laws for the redemption of slaves. If you were poor and had to sell yourself as a slave to pay your debts, one who was near of kin to you could purchase your freedom.
B. This is exactly the condition we were in. We owed a debt that we could not pay. We were sold out to be slaves of Satan.
1. None of us could possibly redeem ourselves, much less someone else.
2. This is why Jesus had to become a man, that He might be a kinsman to mankind.
3. We are told that He was made a little lower than the angels that He might suffer death, which incidentally was the price for redemption.
4. Peter said:
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, such [as] silver and gold, from that empty life that you [received] by tradition from your fathers;
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
C. This was also true of this world. Adam had sold out this world to Satan.
1. It originally belonged to God by divine right of Creator.
The heavens [are] Yours, the earth also [is] Yours: [as for] the world and the fulness thereof, You created them.
2. God gave the earth to Adam.
3. Adam sold it to Satan.
4. Jesus came to redeem it back to God. He paid the price through His death on the cross. He thus became our Goel.
5. Satan offered to give the world to Jesus if Jesus would just bow down and worship him. Satan bragged that it was his and he could give it to whom he pleased.
6. Jesus did not dispute that claim for it was true.
D. Jesus paid the price of redemption but has not of yet taken possession of that which He purchased, but He is sitting at the right hand of the Father in glory waiting for that day the Father spoke about when He said:
Sit thou at my right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool.
E. In the book of Revelation, John is given a vision of the future. He is taken into heaven where he sees the throne of God and the Cherubim about the throne of God, worshipping God. He hears the 24 elders as respond to the worship, declaring the worthiness of God to receive this worship for He has created all things for His own pleasure.
F. John's attention is then drawn to a sealed scroll in the right hand of God, as an angel proclaims with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to take this scroll and open the seals?"
1. This sealed scroll is obviously the title deed to the earth that had been forfeited by Adam back in the Garden.
2. However, no man was found worthy to take the scroll and break the seals.
3. As John begins to sob at the prospect of the world continuing on under Satan's control, one of the elders says to him, "Don't sob John, behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed, and He will take the scroll and loose the seals."
4. John said he turned and there in the midst of the throne he saw Jesus who looked like a Lamb that been slain, and He came forth and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who was sitting on the throne accompanied by the prayers and praises of the multitudes of people who were singing, "Worthy is the Lamb to take the scroll and loose the seals, for He was slain and has redeemed us unto God by His blood from every nation in the world.
5. Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Redeemed through His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am.
6. The Bible is such and amazing book, the writings of Moses and John are separated by over 1400 years, yet it is one unified story of redemption. We would not understand the writings of John fully without the writing of Moses. Important details are added by David in 1000 B.C. Still more details added by Isaiah around 700 B.C. Around 62 A.D. Matthew and Paul add still more information that helps to complete the story, the beautiful story of God's love for the redemption of man who was lost because of his sin.